3 Reality Shows Setting the Stage for Successful Fundraising

The Salvation Army puts the “fun” in “fundraising”!

At least that’s what The Chronicle of Philanthropy claimed in a recent article titled, “Taking Cues from TV for Fundraising Events”.

As an organization that relies on the pocketbooks and prayers of American supporters, local units of The Salvation Army certainly come up with creative ways to engage the interest of the public in serving their community members in need.

Specifically noted in the article is the St. Louis Garbage Bag Gala, an event modeled after the show “Project Runway” where designers create outfits out of, well, garbage bags. The Pittsburgh Salvation Army actually launched this idea 10 years ago and The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command recently put on their own Upscale Resale fashion show back in April.

And although “Hefty bag couture” is probably not a name you’ll see in Vogue Magazine anytime soon, you’d be amazed at the couture dresses that are created by women determined to raise awareness and money for local families in need.

Lovely! SA Advisory Board Member Pamela Abdalla (left) flaunts garbage bag couture at the Pittsburgh Garbage Bag Gala in 2006 (courtesy of old.post-gazette.com)

In fact, the night of fun and fashion in St. Louis is expected to raise at least $12,500 with an additional $25,000 anticipated from additional sponsorship fees. In the area and want to attend? Click here to buy tickets!

The article also noted The Salvation Army’s MOST Amazing Race, an event that takes place in various cities across the warmer months of the year modeled after CBS’s “The Amazing Race”.

The MOST Amazing Race winners of 2009 in Minneapolis. (courtesy of www.thesalarmy.org)

Just like the TV show, teams of two race across the city on a scavenger hunt performing stunts and activities at various stations. Corporate sponsors to these events have raised thousands of dollars with all proceeds directed towards the social service programs of The Salvation Army. (If you’re interested in registering or supporting, click here to learn more.)

We also don’t want to overlook The Salvation Army’s love of music, either. It’s not uncommon for the local units to put on “American Idol” type contests, concerts and other fundraising performances.

The Salvation Army of San Francisco Hosted a "Rock the Square" event with Red Kettle bell ringers entertaining the crowds for donations. (courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/salvationarmysf/)

To check out the full article from Chronicle of Philanthropy, click here.

We want to know from our readers, what kind of fundraising events do you find most engaging and effective? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

Feature photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/paloetic/